Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-three. Sunrise is 6:54 AM and sunset 6:32 PM, for 11h 37m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 99.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1780, John André, a British Army officer, is hanged as a spy by the Continental Army.
Recommended for reading in full —
Taken together, his attacks on the integrity of the coming election suggested that a country that has successfully run presidential elections since 1788 (a messy first experiment, which stretched just under a month), through civil wars, world wars and natural disasters now faces the gravest challenge in its history to the way it chooses a leader and peacefully transfers power.
“We have never heard a president deliberately cast doubt on an election’s integrity this way a month before it happened,” said Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian and the author of “Presidents of War.” “This is the kind of thing we have preached to other countries that they should not do. It reeks of autocracy, not democracy.”
But what worried American intelligence and homeland security officials, who have been assuring the public for months now that an accurate, secure vote could happen, was that Mr. Trump’s rant about a fraudulent vote may have been intended for more than just a domestic audience.
They have been worried for some time that his warnings are a signal to outside powers — chiefly the Russians — for their disinformation campaigns, which have seized on his baseless theme that the mail-in ballots are ridden with fraud. But what concerns them the most is that over the next 34 days, the country may begin to see disruptive cyberoperations, especially ransomware, intended to create just enough chaos to prove the president’s point.
Heather Vogell reports The Kushners’ Freddie Mac Loan Wasn’t Just Massive. It Came With Unusually Good Terms, Too:
After the news broke in May of last year that government-sponsored lending agency Freddie Mac had agreed to back $786 million in loans to the Kushner Companies, political opponents asked whether the family real estate firm formerly led by the president’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, had received special treatment.
The loans helped Kushner Companies scoop up thousands of apartments in Maryland and Virginia, the business’s biggest purchase in a decade. The deal, first reported by Bloomberg, also ranked among Freddie Mac’s largest ever. At the time, the details of its terms weren’t disclosed. Freddie Mac officials didn’t comment publicly then. Kushner’s lawyer said Jared was no longer involved in decision-making at the company. (He does continue to receive millions from the family business, according to his financial disclosures, including from some properties with Freddie Mac-backed loans.)
Freddie Mac packaged the 16 loans into bonds in August 2019 and sold them to investors. But Kushner Companies hadn’t finished its buying spree. Within the next two months, records show, Freddie Mac backed another two loans to the Kushners for an additional $63.5 million, allowing the company to add two more apartment complexes to its portfolio.
A new analysis by ProPublica shows Kushner Companies received unusually favorable loan terms for the 18 mortgages it obtained with Freddie Mac’s backing. The loans allowed the Kushner family company to make lower monthly payments and borrow more money than was typical for similar loans, 2019 Freddie Mac data shows. The terms increase the risk to the agency and to investors who buy bonds with the Kushner mortgages in them.